Will Power

What Will Your Legacy be?

Your Will can do more than you think for the causes you care about. 

You have more power to make a difference to the community than you realize, when you leave a charitable gift in your Will. Leaving even a small portion of your estate to charity can result in a bigger contribution than you ever thought possible, while still supporting those you love. In short, you can do both!

West Vancouver Foundation has partnered with Will Power, a national effort to show Canadians the power they have to do more with their Will. You can try out the free and easy to use legacy calculator to see what you can do with your Will.

You may be surprised to see that even 1% left to the West Vancouver Foundation in your Will can have an enormous impact to the causes you care about, while still leaving 99% of your estate for loved ones. 

There are many benefits to giving in this way, including some potentially significant tax savings. Take a look at the free resources and tools on the Will Power website to learn about better ways to give, and connect with financial advisors to discuss how to maximize your donations.

If you have questions about helping the needs on the North Shore through West Vancouver Foundation, please contact us.

We are holding a free, online seminar on October 6th.  To register click here. 

You don't have to choose between your loved ones and your causes. you can give to both!

Better Ways to Give

If you are one of the generous Canadians who regularly donate to charities, you are giving to causes that you care deeply about, and tax incentives are the last thing on your mind. However, by having a strategic approach to your giving you can substantially reduce taxes on your income, and minimize the significant taxes that will be paid by your estate after you pass.

Leaving a gift in your Will to your favourite charities is about more than just tax savings. It’s a way to make a tremendous contribution to the causes you care about, to make your mark, and inspire your family and friends. But there are some strategic ways of giving through your estate that you may choose to consider:

Talk to an Advisor

Are you interested in starting a conversation with your financial advisor about leaving a gift in your Will to a cause that you care about?  Here are a few tips:

  • Open the conversation by sharing your intentions. Talk about why you want to leave a gift in your Will to the cause, and what kind of impact you want to have.
  •  Work with your advisor to better estimate the future value of your estate. Think about what percentage you would like to go to your loved ones, and what percentage to the charities/causes.
  • Speak to your advisor about the best ways to make your gift. Some options, like gift of securities or life insurance, might come with tax savings.
  • How do you want your future gift to live on? Would you like to get your family involved?
  • Download the Free Guide to Talking to Your Advisor for more information. 

Do you have more questions? These articles may help.

Like most Canadians, you’ve probably spent a lifetime contributing to a cause that’s close to your heart. Now imagine making a bigger contribution than you ever thought possible, without using any of the money you need during your lifetime, or significantly taking away from your loved ones. You can have the best of both worlds with a charitable gift in your Will. 

Consider an average estate of $845k. You probably want to leave the majority of your estate to your loved ones. But what if you left a small portion of your estate – 5% of it – to your charity of choice? That small percentage translates to a $42,000 donation, a bigger impact than most of us would ever be able to make during our lifetime. Imagine what could be accomplished with a donation that size! See what kind of impact you can make using our legacy calculator.

It’s also important to consider that a charitable gift in your Will can go a long way towards reducing the amount of taxes to be levied against your estate after you pass. You can read about some of the tax advantages of giving through your Will here.

The truth is, you could be using your Will to do a lot more. You can take care of your family while making a big difference for the causes you care about. 

We all want to help those around us and leave the world a better place. Leaving a charitable gift in a Will is another way to make your mark.  See our Providing a Gift in Your Will form. 

By leaving a gift to a charity in your will, you can make a bigger contribution than you ever thought possible.  Many donors believe that they can’t support both their loved ones and their favourite cause with their will. The truth is, just a small percentage of your estate left to charity can have a big impact, while still leaving the majority for loved ones. Choosing to support your charity can also reduce and, in some cases, even eliminate the taxes to be paid. A win-win!

Some donors think they need to be wealthy to make a gift to a charity in their will. No matter the size of your estate, you can be a part of this powerful movement for change. Wondering how your future gift would be used?  See the various grant programs the West Vancouver Foundation has and read about some of the impact other’s donations have had in the community. 

You have more power to make a difference to the community than you realize, when you leave a charitable gift in your Will. Leaving even a small portion of your estate to charity can result in a bigger contribution than you ever thought possible, while still supporting those you love. In short, you can do both!

West Vancouver Foundation has partnered with Will Power, a national effort to show Canadians the power they have to do more with their Will. You can try out the free and easy to use legacy calculator to see what you can do with your Will.

You may be surprised to see that even 1% left to the West Vancouver Foundation in your Will can have an enormous impact on our community, while still leaving 99% of your estate for loved ones. 

There are many benefits to giving in this way, including some potentially significant tax savings. Take a look at the free resources and tools on the Will Power website to learn about better ways to give, and connect with financial advisors to discuss how to maximize your donations.

If you have questions about helping the needs on the North Shore through West Vancouver Foundation, please contact us.

Common Myths that Get in the Way of Your Will Power

I can't support loved ones and my favourite causes

Most people choose to leave everything they have to their family and loved ones. On the surface, it makes sense. However, a careful calculation can demonstrate that a small percentage of your estate left to charity still leaves enough for you to support your loved ones.

I need to be wealthy to make a gift to charity

The majority of charitable gifts in Wills are left by Canadians of average means. You may be surprised to find that when all of your assets are realized, you too will have a tidy sum for support of both loved ones and your favourite causes. We estimate that if only 3.5% more ordinary Canadians included a gift in their Will in the coming decade, this would result in $40 billion dollars being directed to charitable causes. No matter the size of your estate, you can be a part of this impressive movement for change.

Leaving a gift in a will is complicated

Leaving a gift to charity in your estate can be as easy as adding a clause to your Will. Notify your lawyer or notary, and they can take care of adding it in. In fact, there is an a sample text form here that will get the process started quickly. We encourage you to involve your loved ones in your decision. Make the process about celebrating who you are, the values you hold, and the life you lead. We have some tips to make this a positive experience for everyone.

I’ve already written my Will and there is no going back.

The truth is you can amend your Will at any time. Adding a gift is as simple as letting your intentions be known to those who drafted your documents in the first place.

I will never see the impact of the gift I make in my Will

It can be discouraging to think that you will not be around to see the impact of the gift you leave in your Will. We understand that you would rather do what you can now. Absolutely. However, you and many other Canadians will never be able to make as big a gift while you are alive as you can through your Will (when the value of your estate is realized). So, here are three ways you can see the impact your future gift will have — before you are gone. 1. Many donors give smaller gifts to the causes they love when they’re alive. They become engaged with the charity or cause, so they get a feel for what the impact of their future gift will be. 2. Many charities have established legacy societies to help donors get a sense of the impact their future gift will have. By letting charities know that you’ve included a gift to them in your Will, you’ll become a part of these groups that will show you the difference you will be making after you’re gone. 3. A gift in a Will can help your family feel part of the impact you are making, as many charities involve the family in the implementation of the gift. Knowing your loved ones will remain connected with you through your contribution after you’re gone can be a very comforting experience.